Heartbreaking details have emerged about screen icon Gene Wilder’s death yesterday.
His nephew has revealed the emotional final hours the star most loved as Willy Wonka spent with his family, before he passed away from complications that arose from his battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Jordan Walker-Pearlman said Wilder’s family were all with him at the time of his death, in scenes so filled with love that they could have been lifted straight from one of his magical movies.
“For a day, we thought we had more than a few days,” he told NPR.
“At that last moment, we said our final goodbyes. We had a chicken dinner that my cousin Kevin made because it was his favourite.
“And we went upstairs, and my wife had gone and said, the nurse says ‘it's happening. It's happening now’. He held my hand. He held my aunt's hand.
“And incredibly, on a random speaker playlist, Ella Fitzgerald, who was his favourite singer, started to sing Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”
Walker-Pearlman also revealed in a statement yesterday that Gene didn’t want to disclose details of his illness to the public as he “couldn't bear the thought of one less smile in the world”.